Under the green glow of the Fox Theatre’s lights in the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, the highly anticipated and beloved musical, Wicked, has returned. Based on the novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, and winner of over fifty major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz.
Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls met in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery, and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious, and well adored. This heart-warming show tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, while also leaving you anxious to catch a re-run of the classic film.
Starring Alyssa Fox as Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West) and Carrie St. Louis as Glinda, it comes as no surprise as to why these shows left Atlanta with sold out performances and standing ovations. With the heavy reputation this musical carries, songs such as “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” leave the performers with big shoes to fill. Not only were these leading ladies able to go above and beyond doing so, but were also able to add their own charisma and twists to the characters themselves.
Both Elphaba and Glinda’s characters are both very uniquely written characters. Although she’s a typical “blonde girl” stereotype, Carrie St. Louis’ Glinda had the disposition and charm of Elle Woods from Legally Blond, but with the kind of sincerity that makes you giggle-snort as she makes absurd comments while also pulling at your heartstrings. Without a doubt, Alyssa Fox’s Elphaba was definitely the bluntest, most intelligent, and charming portrayal I have ever seen, and that’s a big statement.
Elphaba might possibly be one of the most complex characters in the Broadway world. Born into a world that doesn’t accept her, her only wish is to do well and have a bright future, but when she learns a dark secret concerning the Great and Powerful Oz, she is ostracized and given the title of the Wicked Witch as we all know and love her. Not only did Alyssa Fox embody this tale beautifully, but the vocals of both she and Ms. St. Louis were nothing short of phenomenal.
While the show just finished its tour in Atlanta, this show tends to run quite frequently due to its popular status in the theatrical world. Even for those who aren’t huge fans of the original 1939 film, the show itself transcends all age groups and is worth looking into—and for all those who missed this year’s run, the tale of two witches is coming to the Magic City next summer. Beware, all you Birmingham natives— something Wicked this way comes.